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The 3 minute plank….

Since I asked for new ab workouts to challenge me, CultFit (an amazing blogger that I suggest you start to follow) gave me an ab test to try out yesterday to see where I stack.  His instructions:

The TestHinge, Walk Out to a High Push Up Plank…Feet together, Hinge, Walk your Hands out to a High Plank Position, Head in a neutral position and actively pushing through the floor with your delicate little hands.

Anything less than three minutes and you fail our test.  There is no amount of crunches, ab mat situp’s, yoga, core blast, 6 weeks to a 6 pack routines you can do to prepare for this today.

If at anytime you lose stability in your upper body, STOP.  If your hips drop, STOP.  If you start building tension in your neck, STOP!!!  If you seriously want to mess yo self up disregard the previous notes!?!

Hinge, Walkout, High Plank…How hard could it be?

How hard could it be…gotta love the challenge…so of course, I had to try it today.  I went to the gym with my friend Cris and asked her to tape me and to let me know if my form was dropping since there were a lot of STOP warnings in his blog.  So for your viewing pleasure…here is how it went:

The most I’ve tried to hold plank for has been 1 minute, so I didn’t think I’d be able to do it for the full 3 minutes. I started out standing, hinged and walked out ‘on my delicate little hands’ but Cris just started taping when I was in plank so she could time me.

  • The first minute was fine, I was feeling good, strong, no problem.
  • The second minute, I started to sweat and by 1:30 I was starting to shake.
  • By the third minute, everything was shaking but my stubbornness (and maybe a few muscles) got me through it.

After that, I needed to take some time to walk around as my arms were feeling wobbly…oh and need I mention that my biceps and shoulders are sore from yesterday’s workout!  My agreement with Cris was that we’d go workout together and I’d let her pick any workout that she wanted off the Nike Training Club app.  She picked ‘WipeOut” in the Get Lean, Intermediate section…half an hour workout, full body:

  • The warmup was a 2 minute jog, 1 minute back peddling, 1 minute high knees, 1 minute slide and glide (not sure what the hell this is, we looked foolish doing it) and 1 minute rest (which cooled us right back down so I didn’t see the point of it)
  • Side lunge with Rotation, 1 minute using a medicine ball – this was pretty easy, we started lunging to the right and switched after 30 seconds
  • Push Up with feet on medicine ball, 30 seconds – I was able to get my feet on the medicine ball much faster this time but my arms weren’t very impressed with me.  Good thing Cris had me laughing the whole time as she attempted to stabilize herself on the ball so the time passed pretty quickly
  • Modified Burpee, 1 minute – The modified version has you stepping back and up instead of jumping, I did the full version and jumped for the minute
  • Sumo Squat with Press, 1 minute – Just a squat with a shoulder press, this was pretty easy
  • Plank, 1 minute – This was a cruel joke after the 3 minute plank…I started out in straight arm plank, but had to go down to my elbows at 30 seconds to keep it going
  • Recover, 30 seconds – good thing!!
  • Squats, 1 minute – again this went by pretty fast, it was great to have Cris to chat with during the exercises, it made them seem much easier
  • Push ups with feet on medicine ball, 1 minute – I swear this was plank again but on the ball and with push ups…nonsense…haha, I did 14, took a break and did 4 more before the minute was up.  I’m getting much better at balancing on the ball.
  • Split jumps, 30 seconds – This was not easy at all and the 30 seconds couldn’t be done faster!  In a lunge position, you jump and switch the legs…it a good exercise but kills you!
  • Recover, 1 minute – very welcome after the split jumps
  • Squat jumps, 30 seconds – These are not as hard as the split runs
  • High knees runs in place, 30 seconds – It was hard to keep our knees up and our abs tight by this point so it was good that they only asked for 30 seconds
  • Wall sits, 1 minute – hard but doable…our legs were shaking by the end
  • Side plank, 1 minute – really, how much plank do I need to do today.  Good thing we were able to switch sides at the 30  minute mark!
  • Tricep Dips with straight legs, 1 minute – no one needs to do tricep dips for a minute…that’s just craziness!  I think both Cris and I crapped out at 45 seconds and went back to do a few more before the minute was up
  • Crazy Ivans, 1 minute – a very descriptive term, I know.  Basically, you sit down, legs bent, feet on ground holding a medicine ball.  You start the ball touching the ground to your left and take it up to the right…after 30 seconds you change sides.  To make this a bit more difficult we took our feet of the ground and got our abs more engaged.
  • Russian Twists, 1 minute – similar to the Crazy Ivans but this time you take the medicine ball left and right to the ground only, we started with our legs off the ground but by 30 seconds had to put them back down to keep going
  • Single leg deadlift with arm curl, 2 minutes – I have a hard time balancing in this one.  I ended up looking down at the floor to help me and was able to do it a bit more stable, otherwise I spent more time trying not to fall than ‘deadlifting’
  • Recover, 30 seconds
  • Medicine Ball Tricep Push ups, 1 minute – I want to know who can do this exercise, because Cris and I had no hope.  We couldn’t even do one with our legs straight…we had to go on our knees and even then, to do it for a full minute, that’s just crazy!
  • Plank, 1 minute – really….come on now…I went on my elbows and tried to think happy thoughts to get me through this!  But I was not impressed
  • Mountain Climbers, 30 seconds – my arms did not want to hold me in plank while I did this…
  • Walking Lunges, 1 minute – I think these lunges are a chance to catch our breath…and they were appreciated
  • Tricep Dips with straight legs, 1 minute – yeah I wasn’t impressed to have to do this again but was pleasantly surprised when I was able to go almost to the end of the minute
  • Squat Jumps, 30 seconds – I won’t complain about the 30 second exercises…especially not when it was the last one
  • Cool-down – 2 minutes of stretching.

The workout passed pretty quickly all because of Cris…it’s so much better to go through these with someone else to take your mind off what you’re doing.  Makes it so much more fun!  We’re going to try to get together at least once a week to keep doing these together! 

24 down, 156 workouts to go…

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4 comments on “The 3 minute plank….

  1. What stubbornness? There is no amount of training you can do to build the passion you have to achieve, to excell through a challenge. Your Tough Mudder is going to be a breeze!!! Great Job!

  2. Thank YOU for doing it with me! You’re an inspiration. We did it!

  3. […] CultFit said that monkey bars are all about grip strength and hip activation.  The hip activation strategy he has yet to show me, but to work on my grip strength he said I should put my thumbs on the same side as my fingers when I’m doing free weights or any push/pull exercises.  Makes sense…taking out the thumb will make the rest of my fingers work harder to stabilize and hold the weight. […]

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